Do People Who Self-Injure Have to Be Hospitalized?

Do People Who Self-Injure Have to Be Hospitalized?

If someone tells a therapist or doctor about cutting occasionally to relieve stress, will they "put the cutter away" or send the person for an evaluation at a hospital?
- Emmie*

When you're thinking of confiding in a therapist, doctor, or parent, it's natural to worry or wonder about what will happen next.

In almost every situation, cutting and the issues surrounding it can be cared for in a therapist's office — without going to a hospital. To set your mind at ease, tell your therapist that being hospitalized is something you are concerned about. Ask your therapist to explain to you the types of very rare occasions when someone might need to get treatment at a hospital. That should reassure you and help you feel comfortable opening up.

Telling someone about cutting can take courage, honesty, maturity, and trust. It's a healthy step that can lead to talking more about the things that stress you, receiving understanding and support, and getting the most from working with a therapist. Talking about cutting with a therapist can help a person find ways to relieve pressure and stress without self-injuring.

Reviewed by: D'Arcy Lyness, PhD
Date reviewed: November 2011

*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.





Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

© 1995-2014 The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. All rights reserved.





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